Published on November 18, 2021 by Steve West

P&R, 1980 | 136 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance

by Steve West



This book is based on the author’s Th.M. thesis at Westminster Theological Seminary. Notaro examines and clarifies Cornelius Van Til’s position on the usage of evidences in apologetics. He exposits the presuppositional approach to apologetics and demonstrates the relationship that presuppositional apologists see between evidence, presuppositions, and apologetic methodology. In the course of his treatment, he responds to common objections and misunderstandings of Van Til and presuppositionalism.


Table of Contents

Part 1: Introductory Chapters
Chapter 1 The Legitimacy of Evidences
Chapter 2 Evidences, Apologetics, and Theology

Part 2: Knowledge and the Covenantal Framework
Chapter 3 Two Senses of “Knowing”
Chapter 4 What about Epistemological Neutrality?
Chapter 5 Evidence and Proof

Part 3: Presuppositional Verification
Chapter 6 A Close-Up of Verifiability
Chapter 7 Presenting Presuppositional Evidences
Chapter 8 Objections and Replies

Part 4: Biblical Examples and Summary
Chapter 9 Resurrection Evidences at Work
Chapter 10 Summary




Part 1: Introductory Chapters

Many apologists seem to divide between those who emphasize presuppositions in apologetics and those who emphasize evidences. In broad terms, there are presuppositionalists and evidentialists. Van Til made many comments that can be taken to mean that he—like Kuyper—rejected evidence for apologetics. Evidentialists often interpret presuppositionalism as completely eschewing evidence and reason, so that Christianity is defended through the mere assertion of assumptions.

What is often overlooked is the fact that Van Til made clear statements about the necessity and importance of evidence in the defense of the faith. He did not believe that evidence could be interpreted properly apart from presuppositions, but he did recognize that evidences were vitally important. The point presuppositionalists insist upon is that evidence cannot be interpreted by the natural man in an autonomous way; everything must be interpreted under the authority of God’s Word. It was Van Til’s perspective that both deduction and induction, evidence and reason, and the philosophy of fact needed to be grounded in the authority of Scripture.

Most agree that the study of evidences belongs to apologetics, but not everyone agrees on the relationship between apologetics and systematic theology. Should evidence be considered outside of biblical authority? Can apologetics be built without proper theological foundations? Van Til argued that Christianity needed to be defended as a unit. To talk about God or the Christian faith is immediately to talk about doctrine and theology. . . .

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P&R, 1980 | 136 pages

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